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Too much running in background

(44 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by piowakett
  • Latest reply from Lighthouse
  • Topic Viewed 10461 times

piowakett
Posts: 34

I'm not proficient in computer lingo or have much knowledge of computers. I'm just a lil' 'ol granny looking for help. My son says there is too much running in the back ground on my computer and suggests that I check out what is running and shut it off. I printed off the Stop Application From Running at Startup in Windows Vista. It's just that I'm not sure what does what in the startup programing to know what to shut off. Can you help this frustrated Grandma? In order to understand some of this stuff, I have to print it off, read it and re-read it and at times I'm still not sure of what to do.

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Really, we need to know what you are running on Startup in order to advise what you can stop. If your son says there is too much, can he not help in deciding?

Posted 6 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Wish son could help but lives a few thousand miles from me. All I can tell you is that I turn on the computer, go to a startup menu on the left of the screen and then click on the program I want to go to. As I stated, I am not that savy with all that is going on. Suggestions?

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Ok, so what exactly is wrong? Is the computer running slow, or another problem?

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

You also have to give us a little more info on your computer
1. What PC is it and how old is it
2. Are you running XP or Vista
3. What is the size of your memory (RAM)
4. Why did your son think you have too many startup programs running
5. Any other info that you think might be relevant
We will only be able to help you if we have a clear picture about your situation. Magic wands won't work.

Posted 6 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Was told computer was running too slow. Purchased more memory cards. Installed them. RAM reads 1470MB. I require an upgrade to make movies w/old photos for my family. Have purchased another memory card plus the upgrade and have been told I require at least 2GB of memory for the upgrade. Because of the photos I have, I don't think I'm going to have enough memory to install the upgrade. Just got this Dell desk top last April. It came with 512MB memory. Am running Vista. Son visited here around Christmas (before I added the additional memory) logged on to view his email and said that the computer was running slow. I was thinking about using a flash drive to contain my photo files. Have one that's 4GB. Then I could work off that. Can you give me your thoughts? Many, many thanx in advance!! Basically all I do is email, scan my photos, write a few letters, some internet, keep track of my bills, no online banking. Do NOT use many features that are on this computer, even if I knew what they were, I'm sure that I'd use them. I'm not that proficient.

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Hello piowakett. There are different sorts of memory on your computer.
The memory inside the computer is used to run the system. For Vista you ideally want 2Gb. You will also have at least one hardrive inside the computer. This stores all the programs to run the computer, and if it's big enough, to store your photos.
You can have other things that you plug into the outside of your computer that can store your photos (for example, SD cards, USB memory sticks) there are lots of different names and types.
Can you give us some idea of what you have

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Hi Piowakett, First: Don't get confused if you get Q's and A's from Lighthouse and me. We are a team and try to help you together. You may answer in a summary reply to both of us. Then to the facts:
I understand that you are running Vista and initially you had 512MB which now have been upgraded to 1.500MB. When your son was running the PC it still had 512MB only - no wonder it was slow. But 1.500MB should be fine - 2GB (that is 2.000MB) are better but not urgent.
Then you say "i have purchased another memory card plus the upgrade" - what is this memory card? - because as Lighthouse explained, the term memory is used for different things (very confusing) - and what is this "upgrade"? The installation of the 'upgrade' should not be impossible with your configuration (as far as I understand it up to here). Maybe they are talking about disk space. Do the following: press START, click COMPUTER (in the right pane), click on the little arrow next to "Views" (on the top left), click on "Tiles". The first disk in the window (usually C:) tells you "xxx GB free of yyy GB". Give us those numbers.
Now to your Flash drive: You can of course put your pictures on that, but I suspect you have enough disk space and that would not be necessary. That's why we need the xxx,yyy numbers to judge.
In summary for now I think your son's problem was because at the time you had only 512MB of RAM - and that is not enough for Vista running smoothly. With your added inputs we'll see from there.

Posted 6 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Thank you Lighthouse!! Is it possible to email you a screenprint so you could see what is listed? As I said before, I don't know what a lot of this stuff is, let alone if any of it is connected with what I use. Vista Home Basic is on the computer. Upgrading to Vista Premium to do the kids' pictures on DVD w/music.

Posted 6 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

OK. whs, here we are OS(C:) reads 42.3GB free of 64.4GB then we have
(D:) 823MB free of 9.99GB. Dell is the one who told me I needed to purchase the additional memory card so I could upgrade to the Vista Premium. Vista Home Basic (I was told) does not have the capabilities of putting photos and music to a DVD that can be used on a VCR. Hope this info helps.

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Hi again, we don't normally publish email addresses over the forum. But if you want to send yours to The Geek, I'm sure he would be happy to forward it to me. And I will contact you with an easy way to solve your problem

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

OK, 42Gb free on C: is still good - not hilarious but still a ways to go. So there is enough space on your disk for your pics.( And forget about the D: disc. Do not ever touch it. This is your lifeline.) The 4GB flash drive would not make a big difference. One day you may want to buy an external disk. 250GB go for $70 these days and then you have ample disk storage.
I think Dell is wrong. You do have 1.5GB of RAM now, right? that should be enough for Vista Premium. 512MB would not be. So please clarify this point again.
Another question: what program are you planning to use to make your Photo/Music DVD's?

Posted 6 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Hi Lighthouse/whs, here is everything listed in Programs/Features, ABBYY FineReader 6.0 Sprint, Adobe Flash Player 9 ActiveX, Adobe Reader 7.0.8, Apple Mobile Device Support, Conexant D850 PCI V.92 Modem, Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI, Corel Paint Shop Pro X, Corel Snapfire Plus, CouponBar (that I can't get rid of) Dell PC Fax (I don't use) Dell Photo Printer 926, Dell Support Center, Dell System Customization Wizard, DellConnect, Digital Line Detect, Documentation & Support Launcher, Games, Music, Photos Launcher, Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer, GoTo Assist 8.0.0 508(no idea what this is), Interactive Users Guide, Internet Service offers Launcher(don't know this either), iTunes, JAVA(TM) SE Runtime Environment 6, McAfee Security Center, Microsoft.NET Framework 1.1, Microsoft.NET Framework 1.1 HotFix (KB929729), Microsoft Money 2007, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007,
Microsoft Web Publishing Wizard 1.52, Modem Diagnostic Tool, MSXML 4.0 SP2 (KB927978), MSXML 4.0 SP2 (KB936181), MSXML 4.0 SP2 (KB941833) I have no idea what they are, NetWaiting, NVDIA Drivers, PowerDVD, PrintMaster Gold 18, QuickTime (I don't thnk I use this either) SigmaTel Audio, URL Assistant and lastly User's Guide. Do I really need all this or will getting rid of some of this free up area on hard drive? As I said before, I'm not sure what all this stuff is.

Posted 6 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Using Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker. But it only appears to let me make movies that play on the computer. The computer came with 512MB Memory. I purchased 2 more cards each with 512MB memory. Installed those. Dell said I needed an additional 512MB card to install the Vista Premium upgrade because it requires 2GB memory space and at best hope the computer doesn't crash. So to back up all my pertinent data before installing the upgrade.

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

WoW, what a list. I hope you did not type all that but used copy/paste which you can use for text.
First on your last post: 1.5GB is fine. Dell is just trying to make a buck. Yes, 2MB is better, but you are OK for Vista Premium. If a program (e.g.during installation) does not find enough real RAM, it will use virtual memory. Vista manages that. My wife's Vista premium was running on 1GB for the longest time.. Not too fast, but it ran.
The data backup is an excellent idea. You will have to do this to an external disk (like one of those $70 deals I talked about earlier). It will most likely not fit on your 4GB flash drive. There are websites to where you can backup data, but I have no experience with that and given the amount of data that must be awfully slow. I'll get back to your programs in a little while.

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Programs and Features, are the programs that are on your hard disk. Don't worry about those for the moment.
Look in: Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > System Configuration > Startup
What's in there please?

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

I vote with Lighthouse. Deleting a program from the hard disk will make very little difference. You can delete e.g. Quicktime, but maybe one day you want to use it. If you want to get some diskspace back, you better reduce your shadowstorage. As a first step do the following: Start > click All Programs > go to Accessories and click that > find Command Prompt and right click on that > click "Run as administrator > now an ugly little black window will open > type (without the quotes) "vssadmin list shadowstorage" -- this will give you an ugly list of the C: and D: shadowstorage. We want C:. It says: "For volume (C:)....", under that you find:
Used ....
Allocated ....
Maximum ....
We want "Maximum". I bet it is 10 to 15 GB's. That's the one we can reduce significantly. If you come back and tell me the maximum number, I'll tell you how to deal with it.
PS. The question from Lighthouse is relevant for the startup programs. If you have those too, we can, maybe, speed things up.
By the way, here you can read up on MSXML - but I would not worry about it. What you got are some fixes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MSXML

Posted 6 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Back again Lighthouse/whs, I thought I had forwarded the wrong screens. I have sent the start up to The Geek. Screens 2 and 3 kind of overlap with screen 3 showing much of screen 2 but thats the only way I could show ALL of the startup. OK whs, will go into command prompt and get the info. Went into Command prompt for info and this is what I got:
error: Invalid Command. Commands supported:
List Providers
List Shadows
List ShadowStorage
List Volumes
List Writers
Resize Storage

So I typed in List ShadowStorage and I got , "List is not recognized as as internal or external command". Did I do something wrong???
Going to back up and start again.

Posted 6 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Finally Got It!! Used Shadow Copy Storage Space 8.604GB
Allocated 8.888GB
Maximum 9.67GB

Doesn't appear to be the numbers you are looking for, whs. But can you tell me if this is good or bad?

Emailed The Geek the screens on start up to be forwarded to Lighthouse.

Posted 6 years ago
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piowakett
Posts: 34

Couldn't copy/paste the Program/Features Info. Tried but it wouldn't let me.

Posted 6 years ago
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